You should never bite off more than you can chew. One way to keep that from happening is to make your bite smaller.
56 percent of children and adolescents across the world suffer from misaligned teeth. One of the most common causes of this misalignment is an overbite. Overbites affect young and old alike, and they can have serious consequences.
It is important that you correct yours as soon as possible. But many people don’t know how to correct an overbite, so they refrain from treatment.
Get the knowledge you need to improve your dental health. Here is your quick guide on overbite correction.
What Is an Overbite?
An overbite occurs when your upper teeth overlap with your lower teeth. Most people have a slight overbite of a couple of millimeters. This overbite allows for smiling and chewing.
An overbite becomes a problem when the upper teeth don’t cover most of the bottom teeth. Upper teeth protect the bottom teeth from wear and decay. When they are exposed, the bottom ones can start to rot or grind down.
Though an overbite is detected based on teeth placement, it is a disorder of the jaw. There are two distinct kinds of overbites, but both involve jaw placement.
A skeletal overbite occurs when the lower jaw is smaller than the upper one. This pushes the upper teeth forward.
A dental overbite occurs when teeth are misaligned. The misalignment pushes the lower jaw backward, causing a gap.
You can get either type as a result of many things. Overbites tend to run in families, so there may be a genetic component. They can occur as a result of habits like thumb-sucking that push the jaw and teeth back.
Dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can also cause problems. The TMJ is the hinge between the jawbone and skull. Many people know about TMJ pain, but a weak TMJ can also result in an overbite.
Anyone can suffer from and develop an overbite. Nearly all cases are fixable through surgery and other techniques.
The Importance of Correcting an Overbite
If you have an overbite over four millimeters, you should get it fixed. Your lower teeth are not visible when you smile or talk. Many people find this unattractive, which can harm your personal and professional life.
More significantly, an overbite can cause significant pain. It will pull on your TMJ, tearing the nerves in your jaw and cheeks. It can cause your teeth to grind, upsetting your gums and cutting the inside of your mouth.
Since your lower teeth are unprotected, something can strike them easily. A broken or missing tooth can impair your speech and ability to eat.
An overbite can even cause sleep apnea. It can block your flow of air, preventing your body from getting the oxygen it needs. You may suffer from sleep deprivation and heart disease.
You can correct your overbite at any point. It is very important that children get theirs corrected since it could influence how the bones and muscles in their faces develop.
Correcting an Overbite With Braces
Thankfully, there are several ways you can correct your overbite. The least invasive and most common way is through braces.
An orthodontist attaches braces to the teeth. Then they fit elastic bands on the brackets, and these bands apply pressure to the jaw.
They slowly shift the jaw into place, correcting the overbite. You can then wear a retainer to keep your teeth straight.
Adults can wear braces, and there are several types for them. Conventional braces function just like braces that teenagers wear. If you want to conceal them, you can select ceramic anchors that appear similar to your teeth.
For added protection, you can get lingual braces. They fit inside of your mouth, rendering them almost invisible.
You can get Invisalign, but you must be the right candidate for them. You must plan ahead, taking them out before eating. Your overbite should also be mild.
The correction time varies from person to person. It will take at least several weeks, but severe overbites can take years to correct.
How to Correct an Overbite Through Surgery
You can have surgery if you suffer from a skeletal overbite with significant complications. To see if you are right for a procedure, an orthodontist will take X-rays of your skull. If the jaw bone is misaligned, they may recommend surgery.
You will receive an anesthetic so you don’t feel or remember the procedure. A surgeon will reposition your jawbones. They may add or take away some bone, or they may reshape your jaw.
Once the jawbones are in their proper places, the surgeon will add surgical plates, screws, and wires. These will keep your bones in place as they heal.
Most incisions occur inside the mouth, reducing visible scarring. You will need to adjust your diet and take good care of your oral hygiene for a few weeks.
Most patients can return to work a couple of weeks after surgery. It takes several months for the jaws to heal completely.
A less invasive procedure is tooth extraction. Teeth can overcrowd on the upper jaw, making an overbite worse. Removing one or a few teeth can help the jaw shift into place.
Your dentist will give you a local anesthetic, numbing you while keeping you awake. They will then pull the teeth out. You may need to avoid eating hard foods for a few days, but most people don’t experience complications.
Get Your Overbite Corrected Today
Your overbite is more than an unseemly alignment of teeth. It can expose your lower teeth to rot and hazards. It can pull on your TMJ and lead to sleep apnea.
Your dentist knows how to correct an overbite. They can use braces, which slowly pull your jaw into a correct position. They can also employ surgery, correcting your bones so the upper and lower jaws fit together.
You can get your overbite corrected, regardless of what caused it or how bad it is. Sing Orthodontics is Central Texas’s leading overbite repair clinic. Get a virtual assessment today.